News & Media

Vic Lennard: Blog 1

By Vic Lennard Aboudara

16 March 2016

A seasoned, experienced runner looking to break four hours. Great description – and the absolute opposite of me!

I’m not a 30-something in excellent physical condition. I recently celebrated my 60th birthday and have had a slew of illnesses and injuries that would make a sane person think twice about walking round the park let alone jogging 26 miles. The injuries include four operations on my left knee culminating in the full removal of a meniscus, facet joint disease in my lower back, a ruptured, shredded achilles tendon and a ruptured disc in my neck. I currently need an operation to fuse the bones in the main joint of my big toe and a further operation to remove a meniscus in my right knee. I’ve recovered from chronic adrenal insufficiency, which entailed seven years of steroids, and chronic fatigue syndrome (although you never really fully recover from this). I always wanted to leave my body to science – I just never intended to do this piece by piece!

Before the various problems surfaced, I used to run distances in my twenties. I became ill with a glandular disorder at 27 (which took two years to recover from) and every time I tried to train after that my body just wouldn’t let me. I finally quit trying in the late 1990s when my 11-year-old son beat me in a race round our local park!

Weaned off the steroids about 15 years ago, my health improved and my weight started to return to normal, having peaked at over 100kg. By 2007 I was down to 85kg (I’m 1.87m tall so that’s reasonable) and thinking about running again. I tried a few gentle sessions but still didn’t feel right. I felt sluggish and my legs felt heavy.

In the few years after that, two things happened. First, I found a product that properly supports my adrenals. Second, I made the decision to climb Kilimanjaro. While training for this I injured my right knee and so scaled back my aspirations. In 2014 I completed the UK’s three peaks: Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. I figured that the latter was probably tougher than speed-walking a marathon and entered last year’s London Marathon. Injuries and family issues curtailed my training resulting in a time of 6 hours 44 mins.

So why am I doing this again? I felt like I had cheated last year by walking. I wanted to run at least part of the marathon. So last autumn I reduced my weight to just over 80kg and started jogging. I’ve done a handful of 10km events with times of just over an hour.

My target is to break six hours – and still be able to move the next day!